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Prison Quotes

Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts.

Nelson Mandela
Total votes: 14

I have paid no poll-tax for six years. I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up...I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through, before they could get to be as free as I was.

Henry David Thoreau
Total votes: 11

Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.

Seneca
Total votes: 11

To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.

William Gilmore Simms
Total votes: 9

We have our own system, ... and journalists in our system are not put in prison for embarrassing the government by revealing things the government might not wish to have revealed. The important thing is that our system, under which journalists can write without fear or favor, should continue.

Chris Patten
Total votes: 15

Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.

Marcellinus Ammianus
Total votes: 12

When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.

Mike Tyson
Total votes: 14

Concepts of justice must have hands and feet to carry out justice in every case in the shortest possible time and the lowest possible cost. That is the challenge to every lawyer and judge in America.

Warren E. Burger
Total votes: 13

I have been studying how I may compare this prison where I live unto the world; Shut up in the prison of their own consciences.

James Usher
Total votes: 11

History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself.

Naguib Mahfouz
Total votes: 13

Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit; But life, being weary of these worldly bars, Never lacks power to dismiss itself.

William Shakespeare
Total votes: 12

By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.

Gandhi
You voted 2. Total votes: 12


When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.

Mike Tyson
Total votes: 12

If it's near dinner-time, the foreman takes out his watch when the jury has retired, and says: "Dear me, gentlemen, ten minutes to five, I declare! I dine at five, gentlemen." "So do I," says everybody else, except two men who ought to have dined at three and seem more than half disposed to stand out in consequence. The foreman smiles, and puts up his watch:--"Well, gentlemen, what do we say, plaintiff or defendant, gentlemen?

Charles Dickens
Total votes: 8

Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.

Jean Rostand
Total votes: 9

He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.

Carly Simon
Total votes: 10

Some laws of state aimed at curbing crime are even more criminal.

Friedrich Engels
Total votes: 15

Self is the only prison that can bind the soul.

Henry Van Dyke
Total votes: 13

Fast closed with double grills And triple gates–the cell To wicked souls is hell; But to a mind that's innocent 'Tis only iron, wood and stone.

Paul Pelisson Fontanier
Total votes: 16

He who opens a school door, closes a prison.

Victor Hugo
Total votes: 11

To try to raise a son from inside the prison walls is a very difficult thing. But I want to say to the world my son at 16 was the one who tried the most to get me out of prison.
~Jim Bakker

Jim Bakker
Total votes: 17

Prison continues, on those who are entrusted to it, a work begun elsewhere, which the whole of society pursues on each individual through innumerable mechanisms of discipline.

Michel Foucault
Total votes: 10

When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.

Reverend Martin Niemoeller
Total votes: 17

It was only when I lay there on the rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not between states nor between social classes nor between political parties, but right through every human heart, through all human hearts. And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me, bless you, prison, for having been a part of my life.

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn
Total votes: 12

Intellectual despair results in neither weakness nor dreams, but in violence. It is only a matter of knowing how to give vent to one's rage; whether one only wants to wander like madmen around prisons, or whether one wants to overturn them.

Georges Bataille
Total votes: 15